2012 NFL Mock Draft: Post Combine And Free Agency

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The 2012 NFL Draft is now less then a month away. Now that the Combine and initial wave of free agency are behind us I thought it was time to get another mock draft out there. You can see my first mock HERE. Like my first mock, I decided to take this mock up to the Chiefs’ second round pick. So I guess you could call it about one and a half rounds. This time around I didn’t add any new trades. I did change things up quite a bit from the first go round. As always, feel free to tell me where I’m off base.

Also, for more great mock drafts, be sure to visit DC Pro Sports Report (home of the original mock draft database), Walter Football and Hail Redskins.

1. Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck
QB – Stanford

There may be some buzz out there about RG3 challenging Andrew Luck for the top spot, but I just don’t see that happening. I think Luck’s experience in a pro style offense and a greater injury concern with Griffin make Luck the smart pick here. The question is, will there be enough of a team left in Indy to help him succeed right away?

2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis)
Robert Griffin III
QB – Baylor

No one can ever accuse Dan Snyder of being afraid to pull the trigger. I still can’t decide if the small fortune of picks they coughed up to get RG3 was another example of Snyder overpaying to the point that it will cripple his team or the best investment he’s ever made. I think RG3 will be an absolute star. The problem is I see him having injury issues similar to what Mike Vick has dealt with throughout his NFL career.

3. Minnesota Vikings
Matt Kalil
OT – USC

The Vikings choose to protect Ponder’s blind side instead of getting him a #1 WR in Justin Blackmon. I actually think they may try to convince a team to trade up to get Tannehill if the hype on him continues to grow, but I don’t think they’ll get any offers that would be worth it. In the end, their need for a LT and the fact that Kalil is a near can’t miss makes him the pick.

4. Cleveland Browns
Ryan Tannehill
QB – Texas A&M

I don’t think Tannehill has any business being drafted this high. That having been said, we know the Browns wanted RG3, so they’re on the market for a QB. In the end I think they’ll reach for him here. If for no other reason then I think the Dolphins would really like to draft him and since it’s clear that Stephen Ross is destined to miss out on every single major acquisition he sets his sights on Tannehill has to be off the board before pick number 8.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Trent Richardson
RB – Alabama

If I was in charge of the Bucs I would take Morris Claiborne, but I don’t think that’s what the Bucs will do. Greg Schiano was a solid college football coach, but the only reason he was a big enough name to get an NFL gig is because his one great 11-2 season back in 2006 put him in the national spotlight. Why was that team so successful? He had a special talent at running back named Ray Rice that carried them on his back. I’m betting he tries to do the same thing in TB with Richardson.

6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
Justin Blackmon
WR – Oklahoma State

The rise of RG3 in this draft was the best thing the ever happened to the St. Louis Rams. Not only did they score a slew of future draft picks, but one of the two players that they would have taken had they stayed put is still on the board at #6 (the other being Matt Kalil). Blackmon will give Sam Bradford the #1 WR he desperately needed last season.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Melvin Ingram
DE – South Carolina

The Jags have been looking for someone to rush the passer for what feels like forever. Many people have Quinton Coples going to Jax in this spot, but I think his work ethic issues combined with strong workout performances by Ingram may have knocked Coples off his perch as the top pass rushing DE. If St. Louis were to pass on Blackmon to take Morris Claiborne the Jags would jump at the chance to take the top WR in the draft.

8. Miami Dolphins
Quinton Coples
DE – North Carolina

I think the Dolphins would like to take Tannehill here, but like I said before it appears the Dolphins may never get their first choice of anything ever again. For some strange reason they’ve also decided that they want to run some 4-3 looks now on defense. That will mean they need another pass rushing DE. Coples has all the talent to pair with Cameron Wake to make an elite pass rushing duo. The question is if he will live up to his talent.

9. Carolina Panthers
Morris Claiborne
CB – LSU

In the surprise of the draft so far the Panthers are ecstatic to find that one of the five most talented players in the draft is still available at pick #9. Claiborne is a true #1 CB and with how awful the Panthers pass defense was last year there is no way they let him slide any further. The Panthers were probably planning to draft a DT here, but that will have to wait for now.

10. Buffalo Bills
Riley Reiff
OT – Iowa

The Bills OL last year was really bad and to date they have yet to resign Demetrius Bell their best OT. If Chan Gailey’s offense has any chance to succeed they have to go with the best tackle on the board and that is Reiff. I’m actually not that high on Reiff as a LT, but he would still be an improvement over any tackle on Buffalo’s roster assuming they don’t bring Bell back.

11. Kansas City Chiefs
Fletcher Cox
DT – Mississippi

The draft has set itself up perfectly for Chiefs fans thus far. Dontari Poe, David DeCastro, and Luke Kuechly are all still available……and the Chiefs pass on them all and draft a non-NT defensive lineman. Thousands of Chiefs fans will curse Scott Pioli, throw their remote controls at the TV, and swear that they are never watching a Chiefs game ever again. The pick makes ZERO sense, right?

Well as I described HERE, I think it makes perfect sense. Scott Pioli isn’t drafting someone who is 6’4″ with short arms, plays too tall, and has unimpressive game tape to be his 2-gapping NT. It just isn’t happening, I don’t care how good his combine was. And although DeCastro and Kuechly are Pioli-esqe type of players, I think the positions that they play have good value picks available in the mid rounds. Plus they already have starting caliber players (although not spectacular) on their roster at those positions. What they don’t have is someone who can apply pressure up the middle and Pioli has a track record of drafting defensive line in the first round. So most Chiefs fans will HATE this move right up until they watch Cox push Manning, Rivers and Palmer out of the pocket and into the waiting arms of Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.

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